the good book corner

Manuscript help, book reviews and author interviews

Stolen Years by Pavit Kaur


Simranjit Singh Mann was with the Indian Police Service and in 1984, after Operation Bluestar, the Indian Army operation on the holy Golden Temple at Amritsar, he resigned in protest. Mann was subsequently charged, among other things, with conspiracy to assassinate the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. A passionate Sikh whose radical beliefs were honed by his family, Mann went underground and was apprehended while trying to flee the country. He spent five years in prison, after which all charges were dropped.

Pavit’s Stolen Years- A Memoir of Simranjit Singh Mann’s Imprisonment, is a daughter’s tribute to the ordeal the family went through after her father’s resignation. Three decades after Blue Star,the author looks back on the years her father spent in prison. In this disarmingly honest and emotionally charged account, Pavit Kaur documents her father’s hellish journey through the Indian prison system.

The book is not a testimony to politics and beliefs in Punjab or if Bhindrawale was a terrorist or a martyr. It is a narrative of one family’s trauma during one of the most turbulent period in Punjab, when their loyalties were questioned because of their religious beliefs and sentiments.

The Book starts with Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If” and the epilogue is a beautiful rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam. Through a series of letters written by Mann from prison and first person accounts, Pavit describes the ordeal. While Mann languished in prison, his family stood strong trying to bring him back home.

The book is also a celebration of India in a manner. This was one instance when democracy rose forth to free their man from the clutches of a failed system. Mann won the parliamentary seat in Punjab from Tarn Taran with the highest margin of votes ever in the country in 1989.

To rate a memoir is like grading memories. Hence you will not find any rating with this review.

An interesting read for those who feels emotionally affected by 1984 and the years that followed.

Stolen Years, A Memoir of Simranjit Singh Mann’s Imprisonment by Pavit Kaur

240 pages

Random House India


About artikaaurorabakshi

Artika Aurora Bakshi Artika Aurora Bakshi is the author of three well-acclaimed children’s books,My Little Sikh Handbook, My Little Sikh Handbook 2: Ardas, My Little Sikh Handbook: Travel Journal, and an anthology of stories, Hold On To Me. Her first story, set in Amritsar, during the pre-Partition period, All She Had Left, was published on Story Mirror. She co-manages, a manuscript help and book review site. Her passion for reading has led her to helping other writers with their manuscripts. She comes from a family of lawyers and has a master’s degree in International Banking & Finance. Currently based in Sri Lanka, she teaches Commerce and History on a part-time basis at an international school and enjoys being part of the literary scene in Sri Lanka. A regular at the Galle Literary Festival and other literary events in Sri Lanka, Artika’s articles and book reviews have featured in the Daily Mirror, Daily News, The Ceylon Chronicle, and various blogs, such as,,, She was actively involved with SAARC Women’s Association of Sri Lanka and was President of the Association in 2016. An avid reader, Artika runs an online book club with a membership base of over 600 members. Her quotes are featured under soul.nightingale on Instagram and on Soul Nightingale by Artika Aurora Bakshi on Facebook. Artika is also working on her fourth children’s book in the My Little Sikh Handbook series and a second anthology of stories for adults. You can reach Artika at .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on January 30, 2015 by in Book Reviews, Non Fiction and tagged , , .
%d bloggers like this: